AUSVEG Weekly Update


Tuesday 28 March 2017
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Tuesday 28 March 2017

National Management Group response to TPP incursion

The National Management Group (NMG) for tomato-potato psyllid (TPP) – comprising all Australian governments, affected industries and Plant Health Australia – has agreed to a national response to the incursion of TPP in Western Australia.

The NMG considers responding to the TPP incursion to be in the national interest given the potential for substantial economic impacts should the complex become established in Australia, with members endorsing a short term response plan. This plan will be led by the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA). The NMG will consider the appropriateness of the initial response in 30 days, noting this period will allow critical information on the nature and spread of the complex to be collected.

DAFWA has implemented restrictions on the movement of commercially grown vegetables and nursery stock produced in the Perth area. A Quarantine Area Notice has been declared for the Perth metropolitan area and other local government districts until 30 October 2017. The quarantine area includes a control zone and suppression zone. Further information on the Quarantine Area Notice can be found on the DAFWA website.

The Australian Government, all state and territory governments, and affected industries are contributing to the cost of the response.

This information has been taken from a communique from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. To read the communique on the Department's website, click here. For further information please contact DAFWA’s Pest and Disease Information Service on 1800 084 881.

What is a cover crop worth? Cover crops in Australian vegetable systems

This case study outlines the economic considerations when using cover crops in vegetable production systems. It is based on lessons learned from several Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection (ICP) demonstration sites during the period 2014 to 2016.

One of the most important considerations is being clear about the purpose of using cover crops in the farm system as it influences the way you may judge costs and benefits and the timing of these.

“Practices like cover cropping, using compost and using reduced tillage can increase or maintain soil organic matter. This builds long term resilience. In the long term you can’t add that out of a bag. There is no substitute for long term resilience.” – Marc Hinderager, Agronomist

The overall benefits will depend on each situation. However, to figure out what works for you on your farm and a specific purpose, talk to others who have used cover crops for a similar purpose, trial cover crops or include a test strip if possible.

To read the economic case study, click here.

To find out more about the Soil Wealth and ICP projects visit the website, or join the Community of Practice online. You can also follow the projects on Twitter @SoilWealth and @ProtectingCrops.
Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection are funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

Managing common scab in potatoes

Common scab is a widespread issue that causes a blemish disease in potato tubers. Despite having a lowered incidence in Australia over the last five years, the disease remains an issue for growers across the country.

Common scab is a soil-borne disease caused by the bacteria-like organism Streptomyces scabies. The scab is roughly round but can join to form scabbed areas and can be superficial, slightly raised or deep pitted, sometimes extending several milimetres into the tuber.

In recent years researchers have been able to further investigate common scab in an attempt to manage and control the disease, and work toward developing disease-resistant potato varieties.

Growers are advised to use less susceptible potato varieties if possible, and treat most root crops (such as carrots, swedes, beets, radish and parsnip) the same as potatoes when planning rotations, as these crops can also be carriers for the disease.

For a more detailed look into the management of common scab, please see page 12 of the latest Potatoes Australia.
Potatoes Australia is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Fresh Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

New resources – Tomato-potato psyllid

On 24 March 2017 DAFWA released the following industry update on tomato-potato psyllid.

DAFWA has also released a factsheet and a video to assist growers in detecting and reporting tomato-potato psyllid.

Growers are encouraged to ensure they are aware of the necessary steps to take in the event of a tomato-potato psyllid detection, and are familiar with the contact details of their relevant state departments.

For more information, please click here to visit the DAFWA website.

Coles renews as Convention Partner

AUSVEG is proud to announce Coles as a Convention Partner for 2017. The relationship between Coles and AUSVEG has continued to grow over the years, and AUSVEG is extremely happy to be able to work closely with such an important member of the vegetable industry supply chain.

Coles will be the exclusive sponsor of the Welcome Reception on Monday 15 May from 6:00 – 6:30pm. For more information about Hort Connections 2017, please contact AUSVEG on 03 9882 0277, email or visit the Hort Connections 2017 website.

For more information about Coles please visit their website here.

Export Cost Recovery Review

On 1 December 2015, new charges came into effect for grain and seed exports. On 2 November 2015, the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources announced an independent review of the costs associated with plant exports. The review, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), found that the costs recovered are appropriate and that the approach used was consistent with the Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines.

The review also made eleven recommendations, of which Government agreed to seven. For the horticulture sector, Government did not agree to:
  • recovering prior year losses from the horticulture sector, as this would unfairly impact current exporters;
  • the recovery of overheads through charges for direct services, as it considers it is better to recover these through a combination of upfront and throughput levies;
  • the development of charging models to suit individual commodities, exporters or business models, as there are over 1,300 commodities and the costs would outweigh benefits; and
  • charging for travelling to remote locations, as this would unfairly impact rural and regional exporters.
Government agreed to the PwC recommendation to re-allocate program and corporate support costs between the grain and horticulture sectors. The PwC review indicated that this would increase costs allocated to the horticulture sector. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will release a draft cost recovery implementation statement (CRIS) for public consultation in April 2017.

For further information contact AUSVEG via email or 03 9882 0277.

Celebrate women in horticulture at Hort Connections 2017!

The ever-popular Women in Horticulture networking event will once again return to Hort Connections 2017. The event is open to all genders at Hort Connections, providing a chance to acknowledge and celebrate the integral role that women play in the industry.

The event will be held at the InterContinental Adelaide on Wednesday 17 May from 2:00pm to 4:30pm. This year’s theme will focus on getting involved and adding value to your business.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston, will be headlining the guest speakers while ABC presenter Tonya Roberts will MC the event. The Ideas Catalyst founder Susie White will speak on new product and packaging innovations and introduce some hands-on creativity techniques to generate new product ideas.

Celebrity chef Geoff Jansz will perform a cooking demonstration with local produce and a discussion will be held on a levy-funded community garden project.

The event will conclude with the announcement of the 2017 Women in Horticulture award winner.

For more information or to RSVP, please visit or call AUSVEG on 03 9882 0277.

Expression of Interest: 2017 Reverse Trade Mission – Produce Display

All export ready vegetable growers are invited to register with AUSVEG to display their produce to 40 international fresh produce buyers at Hort Connections in Adelaide as part of the 2017 Reverse Trade Mission.
AUSVEG will be bringing delegates from across Asia and the Middle East to Australia to participate in a range of farm visits in Western Australia to showcase the Australian vegetable industry. These delegates will then attend Hort Connections 2017 in Adelaide, culminating in the Produce Display event.

The event will be held on Tuesday 16 May from 9am – 1pm, giving growers from across the country the opportunity to display their produce to these leading international buyers.

Register now to participate in this exciting event by returning the registration form by Friday 14 April to or call 03 9882 0277 for further information.
The 2017 Reverse Trade Mission is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

New R&D reports available on InfoVeg

InfoVeg is a comprehensive database that has been designed to bridge the gap between researchers and growers. It acts as a resource for growers to easily access technical information and research funded by the National Vegetable and Potato Levies.

The following reports were published recently on the InfoVeg database:
  • PT15005 – National governance framework for Australian seed potato certification: An options paper
  • VG12008 – EnviroVeg program for promoting environmental best practice in the Australian vegetable industry
  • VG15052 – Vegetable Industry Export Strategy
  • VG15075 – Vegetable industry participation in the South Australian Government trade mission to SE Asia 2016
  • VG15704 – Grower study tour of New Zealand: Precision vegetable production
Click here to sign up or log in to your InfoVeg account to access the reports.
The InfoVeg database is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable and National Potato Levies and funds from the Australian Government.

Port of Melbourne export facility tour

The Port of Melbourne is an international gateway to export markets, with more than 21 direct shipping services every week connecting Australian products to key export markets in Asia, North America and Europe. Around 100,000 tonnes of fresh and frozen vegetables are exported each year from the Port to major destinations including Belgium, Japan and Korea.

As part of the National Vegetable Extension Network, RMCG is conducting a tour of the Melbourne Port facility for growers with an interest in accessing exports. This behind-the-scenes tour will give participants an opportunity to learn more about the facility by having a first-hand look at the Port of Melbourne's role in the export supply chain.

Date: Wednesday 5 April 2017
Time: 2:00 – 4:00pm
Location: Dock 5, Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands, Melbourne VIC

This tour is free for levy payers. Interested parties are asked to RSVP by Friday 31 March 2017. To find out more about the tour or to RSVP, please click here to view the full flyer for the event.
The National Vegetable Extension Network (VegNET) Project is delivered locally in the Northern, Western and South-Eastern regions of Victoria by RMCG through VG15048, and is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

AUSVEG seeking Biosecurity Officer

AUSVEG is seeking a Biosecurity Officer to work on the Vegetable and Potato Biosecurity Program.

The successful candidate will report to the AUSVEG National Manager – Science and Extension, and will be responsible for coordinating the Biosecurity program. The role has a strong communication element and involves liaising with vegetable and potato growers, government departments and other industry groups.

For more information, please refer to the job advertisement. Please email to request a full Position Description.

Invisible Farmer – Call for submissions

The ABC is calling for submissions to pay tribute to women in the agriculture, food and fibre industries.

The submissions will become part of the Invisible Farmer project, a nationwide study of women on the land and the role they play in farming communities across Australia.

The project involves a nation-wide partnership between rural communities, academics, government and cultural organisations, and aims to learn about the diverse, innovative and vital role of women in agriculture.

For more information or to make a submission, please click here. For more information on the Invisible Farmer project, please click here.

Expressions of interest for attendance at the 2017 Horticulture Field Day

Hort Connections 2017 will be preceded by the annual Horticulture Field Day. This year, the field day will focus on pest and disease detection and management. The event is free and available only to those who have registered for Hort Connections 2017.

Date: Monday 15 May
Time: 8:15am – 5:30pm
Location: Adelaide and surrounds

An agenda for the day will be publicised in early April. Spaces are strictly limited so be sure to register your interest with AUSVEG promptly. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for attendees.

To express your interest in attending this field day, please email

Dimethoate reconsideration complete and permit issued for the phase out period

The APVMA has published the results of its review of dimethoate, which has impacted vegetable uses on artichoke (globe), broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chilli, parsnips, radish and sweetcorn. The Dimethoate regulatory decision report can be found here.

The APVMA has:
  • affirmed all existing dimethoate active constituents approvals
  • cancelled the registrations of existing home garden products
  • varied the label approvals of the agricultural dimethoate products in line with the decision
  • removed pack sizes of 1 litre or less from those agricultural products
  • revoked the previous suspensions of four agricultural products as their labels have been varied to mitigate the concerns that lead to the suspension and
  • affirmed the registrations of the agricultural dimethoate products and the approvals of the new, varied labels
This final decision has taken into account submissions received during the consultation period for the Dimethoate proposed regulatory decision report. To read the full report, please see the APVMA website.

2017 Global Innovations in Horticulture Seminar: Registrations for funded positions now open!

Following the success of the 2016 Global Innovations in Horticulture Seminar, Australian levy-paying vegetable growers will once again have the chance to listen to presentations from the world’s leading innovation experts at the 2017 Global Innovations in Horticulture Seminar.

The Seminar will take place during Hort Connections 2017, and will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre on Tuesday 16 May.

The seminar will feature nine expert speakers from around the world on topics ranging from precision agriculture to processing machinery. Previous seminars have been very well received by growers, so don't miss out on the opportunity to benefit from the expertise of the leading thinkers in global horticulture.

Funded positions are available for levy-paying growers to attend this event. Growers interested in attending or looking for further details can contact AUSVEG on 03 9882 0277, by fax at 03 9882 6722 or via the contact form here.
The 2017 Global Innovations in Horticulture Seminar is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

Victorian students passionate about sustainable veg growing

AUSVEG would like to thank the members of Class 2L at Viewbank Primary School in Victoria for writing to us about water use in the vegetable industry.

AUSVEG Environment Coordinator Andrew Shaw is hard at work writing responses to all the letters we received, in-between his work helping growers practice environmentally responsible vegetable production.

Vegetable growers work hard to have sustainable farms, including being smart about their water usage, and the entire vegetable industry is always looking for ways to improve its environmental impact.

It’s great to see students taking an interest in our industry and in vegetable production. Thanks again, Class 2L!

AUSVEG in the media
AUSVEG CEO James Whiteside appeared on radio this week discussing the recall of contaminated herbicides. Mr Whiteside stated that both companies that have been affected by the contamination are working hard to minimise any potential damage.

Weather Forecast – Wednesday 29 March

Please find below a weather forecast for Wednesday 29 March for key growing regions around Australia. To see a detailed forecast, please click the image.
This project has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable Levy and National Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.



29 March 2017
CSIRO: Divide and concentrate workshop
Werribee, VIC

8 April 2017
AUSVEG VIC Awards for Excellence
Kooyong, VIC

12 April 2017
AUSVEG SA and William Buck
Vegetable Industry Awards for Excellence
Adelaide, SA

3 – 4 May 2017
East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days
Lindenow, VIC

15 May 2017
2017 Horticulture Field Day
Adelaide, SA

15 – 17 May 2017
Hort Connections 2017
Adelaide, SA

9 August 2017
Fresh Produce Safety Centre:
Science + Culture = Safe Food Conference
Sydney, NSW





Vegetables WA

Potato Growers Association of WA

New South Wales Farmers Association

Tasmanian Farmers & Graziers Association

Bowen Gumlu Growers Association

Communication of levy-funded R&D is conducted as part of VG15027 Vegetable Industry Communications Program and PT15007 Potato Industry Communications Program and is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the research and development National Vegetable and National Potato Levies and funds from the Australian Government.

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